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JVC looks to the trees for latest earbud design

New model is made with birch.


Woodworkers have had a field day with the design of various consumer electronics products, with sylvan finishes in everything from TVs and PCs to cameras and keyboards. Even J. Lo has gone with the grain in her signature line of USB drives.

But wood in earbuds? It hardly seems worth the trouble for JVC's new HP-FX500 ear buds, which Slippery Brick says are made with birch, as well as hybrid drivers that include a "dampening gel" to improve stability and noise cancellation. Then again, this is a company that's known for its unconventional use of lumber in its audio equipment--so unconventional, in fact, that it even makes loudspeaker cones out of wood that's been soaked in sake, as fellow Craver Michael Kanellos found first-hand on his last trip to Japan.

There's no word whether these earbuds have been so fortunate.